Special Report: The Gothenburg International Film Festival

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
The Gothenburg International Film Festival (giff.se), is probably the most prestigious film festival in Sweden. It attracts a lot of folks working in film in Sweden and it's a meeting place for Swedish film producers. At the same time, it's a festival that brings a stunning amount of films from around the world, and work by directors that is innovative.

One such director I had the privilege of meeting and that will be interviewed in a future program, Jia Zhang Ke was on hand to show his film The World, about a theme park in Beijing with replicas of the landmarks of the world, and a bird's eye view of young people who work to keep it up and running.

Another director that has paid dues to smaller productions that fair well at the box office iss Alexander Payne, director of Sideways. He reported that he would much rather be in Sweden than out marketing his film for the Oscars. It was good he rested up, so that he could pick up his award for best adapted screenplay after a trip to the land of the Midnight Sun.

Gothenburg festival director Jannike Ahlund wrote a stunning critique of Sweden's contribution to the best foreign language film at this year's Oscars, As in Heaven. She wondered how director Kay Pollack could have had the main character turn his back to a woman in the choir who had been the victim of spousal abuse. At the same time there was quite an explosive debate at the festival about the lack of films made by women in Sweden - criticism that succeeded in bringing the Swedish Film Institute to the defense of its archaic system of advisors who choose the films that will receive the most money. In Sweden nearly 40% of any state or educational program must be represented by women. Thank the Gothenburg festival for bringing this debate up close and personal.

Later in the show is an interview with Jannike Ahlund, a respected film critic in Sweden who has served on the director's fortnight jury at Cannes and has led the festival for the past two years. As all events such a rich program depends on sponsoring, and the city of Gothenburg, a metropolis with strong working class routes showed films at Folkets Hus, the Town Hall next to the worker's book shop and the worker's union. A portrait of Ingmar Bergman was the 2005 festival icon, which Jannike will tell about in her interview.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan, Gothenburg Sweden.

More Information:
The Gothenburg International Film Festival